The Cluny, Newcastle 21st November
Photos and Review by Linda McDermott
Arriving at The Cluny in Newcastle I wasn’t sure what to expect, after all, it was a Tuesday night in the middle of November. The place looked like a pub from the outside but the venue was up the stairs and held 270-300 people and a queue was forming to get in. The place had a buzz about it with an expectation for a great night, and there was no doubt that’s exactly what would happen.
First to take to the stage is the amazing Troy Redfern and his guitar, and boy can he play that guitar. He had the audience captivated right from the start of his forty-minute set, playing his own brand of indie blues music.
Tonight was a master class on how to play slide guitar and the distinctive technique needed to get those unique soulful bluesy tones. Troy does it brilliantly and has a way of emphasising the emotional depth and expressive storytelling inherent in slide guitar playing that captivates the audience gathered.
Looking around the room it’s easy to see the enjoyment on the faces of the audience as Troy glides through his set with ease, making his music look effortless as it reverberates throughout the venue.
I particularly loved ‘Sanctify’ and was foot-tapping along with everyone else and enjoying being in the moment. But then all too quickly the final notes of Troy’s acoustic set end and the applause fills the room which is a testament to his ability to captivate and connect with a crowd who have enjoyed every second.
Waiting for Your Love
Troy is currently riding high with his latest single “Getaway” with over 136,000 views on YouTube in the first three weeks of release. He is three-quarters of the way through a kick-starter campaign for his new album which started on the 31st Oct, with only a few days to go he has smashed his target making sure that his latest music will be available on both vinyl and CD.
Philip has been a guitarist for Jeff Healey and Melissa Etheridge but has carved a name for himself as a phenomenal blues artist in his own right. He has released several albums so far, the last being ‘Spirit Rising’ in 2020 which has had over 13 million streams to date, which considering it was released at the start of the pandemic is wholeheartedly exceptional. Philip will release his new album ‘The Wolves Are Coming’ on February 23rd 2024 and has had two singles from it to date, the first one in September called ‘Oh That Bitches Brew’ and the second released on the 10th of November called ‘Lady Love Devine’. Both are exceptional tracks and a nice taster of what’s to come on the album.
With the stage nearly ready, the diverse crowd, spanning all age groups, eagerly awaited Philips’s arrival and the atmosphere gained momentum as people moved around and jostled for position to get a better view.
Arriving on stage with the set list scribbled on a paper plate, he lays it on the floor and picks up his guitar. As the first notes resonated, the room transformed into a musical haven, bridging generational gaps with a universal appreciation for his outstanding skill. His nimble fingers dance across the strings, weaving a musical narrative that creates an electric atmosphere that fills the venue.
Among the songs and guitar playing I can hear hints of his early listening with the likes of Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck all coming through in his music which all adds to his complex compositions.
Philip shared some anecdotes about his songs, such as writing the song ‘Beautiful’ for his wife and trying to find the title for another song and deciding to call it ‘Aberystwyth’ because he was born there. Philip also sang the song ‘Once’ from the album ‘Spirit Rising’ and dedicated it to his late father, insisting the crowd get behind it and clap along, which they did with sincerity. Each strum and chord reverberated through the venue, creating an immersive experience for the audience. The connection with the crowd was palpable, and the love for his music became a shared celebration. with both long-time fans and newcomers alike.
Out of my Mind
It’s Over Now
Blues Ain’t Nothing but a Good Woman on Your Mind
Standin’ Round Crying
Spanish Castle Magic
I’m Going Home
As the night unfolded, the performance became a testament to the timeless power of music, leaving an indelible impression on all who attended. This was definitely an immersive experience for everyone, including myself. There was no doubt in my mind that Philip Sayce has a passion for his craft and each song, whether a familiar favourite or not is met with appreciation.
With the set at an end, Philip does an encore at the crowd’s insistence and finally finishes with ‘I’m Going Home’ from his 2015 album ‘Influence” leaving everyone on a high. I feel this musical experience has left a lasting mark on the audience with a sense of having witnessed something very special.
Check out on videos to the single releases from Philips’s upcoming album on the links below.
Lady Love Devine https://youtu.be/_cH7EFEbfEE?si=FdhqDMWD5_4lpl8B
Oh! That Bitches Brew https://youtu.be/MM8VCTwFtj8?si=4sMK4pQi4ZFUWTFf
If you are very lucky you may get a ticket to their final gigs at WWW.THEGIGCARTEL.COM